SALT LAKE CITY, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Utah Freedom Memorial (www.utahfreedommemorial.org) today announced groundbreaking on a new Memorial designed to honor Utah's military heroes, veterans past, present and future, prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action, wounded or disabled and those that have paid the ultimate price for freedom.
Utah native Adam Galvez who died in action in Iraq in 2006 inspired the Memorial. Galvez's parents wanted to pay tribute to their son as well as the other soldiers that have died in the line of duty. The Galvezes thought the best way to honor these soldiers would be to teach kids, specifically junior high and high school aged students about the cost of freedom and the causes soldiers give their lives for. Since 2001, more than 110 Utah soldiers have given their lives in the line of duty.
The Utah Freedom Memorial is being built to serve three main objectives:
- Celebrate freedom.
- Educate youth not associated with the military to experience a love for freedom, an awareness of their opportunities to preserve it, and a respect for those that defend it.
- Honor current and past Utah Military members with emphasis on the current war on terrorism.
The memorial will be built in Sandy, Utah adjacent to the Utah Healing Field 9-11 Flag Display lawn and directly to the north of the "Hope Rising" firemen at ground zero sculpture. This is the site of the first of over 500 such Healing Field Flag Displays that have spread across America. It is also the site of the permanent memorial dedicated to front line responders and the hope they gave us in the days following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
"We want to create a place that will honor the lives of soldiers that have given their lives for our freedom as well as help our youth develop a full appreciation of our nation's core values and the sacrifices that have been made to secure our freedoms," said Paul Swenson, Memorial Organizer. "This Memorial will celebrate freedom and be a reverent place to honor men and women of all branches of the military and from all conflicts."
The Memorial will allow junior high, high school aged students and attendees to learn about Utah's fallen soldiers, make rubs of the commemorative bronze plaques, and share their thoughts and feelings about the Memorial and the soldiers with others.
As part of the educational component, the Utah Freedom Memorial educational committee is now calling upon all Utah students to submit essays to be recognized on the monument for one-year at a time. While five will be chosen to become part of the physical monument, all essays will be displayed at the UtahFreedomMemorial.org website during the next year and a physical copy of each essay will be placed in a binder at or near the monument for visitors to read. Each year an essay contest will be held and old essays will be replaced with new. For completed details about the essay contest, visit the website.
The Utah Freedom Memorial will be completed and unveiled on May 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm MDT, leading into a series of statewide Armed Forces Day 2014 celebrations. As part of the unveiling there will be an official ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration for the community. Specific details about the grand opening will be announced at a later date.
For more information about the Utah Freedom Memorial or to make a donation, visit www.utahfreedommemorial.org.
ABOUT THE UTAH FREEDOM MEMORIAL:
The Utah Freedom Memorial Park will be the main focus for the efforts of the Utah Freedom Memorial Foundation and will be a permanent monument that pays tribute to Utah's Military members that have paid the ultimate price for freedom during past and present conflicts. The on-going activity of the facility will be to provide annual educational tours for all Utah students and new U.S. citizens. For more information about the Utah Freedom Memorial visit www.utahfreedommemorial.org.
SOURCE Utah Freedom Memorial